Philippine senator pushes compost

With soil degradation in the Philippines now pegged at 38 percent, Senator Cynthia A. Villar said, further soil destruction would adversely affect food production and food supply. Villar, chair of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee, underscored the need to educate farmers on the use of organic fertilizers.

The use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides, Villar said, causes damage to crops that eventually reduce crop production and loss of soil fertility. She also said that 95 percent of our food comes from the soil so we need to make our soil healthy. The senator further cited the high cost of inorganic pesticides and fertilizers that also resulted to the small earnings of our farmers.

“With composting of kitchen and garden wastes, we are not only helping environment, we are also helping the waste management efforts of our barangays and the cities and municipalities,” said Villar during the turnover of one of two sets of a rotary composter and hammer mill for a composting facility that will convert kitchen and garden wastes to organic fertilizer. “Waste composting is a very good start to reach zero-waste management.

Villar started composting in her own city – Las Pinas – where she had distributed 75 composters now being used by 40,000 households. The organic fertilizers they produced are being given for free to the farmers and those involved in urban farming or vegetable gardening. Together with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), she has been going around the country to encourage farmers to produce their own organic fertilizer.

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